An editorial in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin that appeared just as tens of thousands of hunters were heading into the field for the deer season opener urged voters to reject gun control Initiative 1639—the only gun measure on a ballot anywhere in the United States this year—because “Initiatives are generally a lousy way to write laws.”
“The ballot proposals are written specifically to represent a single point of view,” the newspaper observed. “There is no give-and-take of the legislative process. And, as a result, flaws are often discovered once voters make the law.”
According to the growing grassroots opposition to I-1639, it is riddled with flaws; extremist gun restrictions disguised as “gun safety.”
“Initiative 1639 is 30-pages of extremism disguised as ‘gun safety.’ It won’t make schools or communities safer, but it will treat more than a million Evergreen State gun owners like criminals.”—Alan Gottlieb, chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Less than a week after the Union Bulletin editorial appeared, I-1639 sponsors have once again sent out an email blast begging for campaign funds by complaining that the National Rifle Association “is pouring more money into Washington to defeat us.”
A check with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission revealed that the grand total so far raised and reported by the three separate groups opposing I-1639 comes to $537,195.72.
That is the sum when combining the reported $29,801.61 from the Shall Not Be Infringed, 2018 group, plus the $51,613.28 reported by Save Our Security and the $455,780.83 raised by the Washingtonians and the National Rifle Assn. for Freedom, 2018.
But the Safe Schools Safe Communities subsidiary of the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility that is pushing the measure that even the state’s four major law enforcement organizations oppose, has raised a whopping $4,662,378.02 in cash and in-kind contributions, more than eight times the combined total raised by opponents of the 30-page gun control measure.
This raises a legitimate question as ballots are showing up in the mailboxes of Evergreen State voters: If the gun prohibition lobby is being disingenuous about the campaign funding imbalance, what else are they saying that may be less than candid?
One thing might be the allegation in the new Safe Schools Safe Communities email that accuses the NRA of engaging in a “misinformation campaign.” That might be a “pot, meet kettle” accusation.
When the Vancouver Columbian earlier this month recommended a “NO” vote on I-1639, it specifically stated that the measure’s firearm storage requirements “would be difficult to enforce and would inhibit the ability of homeowners to use their weapons in self-defense.” That’s not the NRA talking, but a newspaper editorial board that figured this out by itself.
The Vancouver Columbian’s rather tepid editorial still pushed some extreme gun control ideas, including a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” but called I-1639 “problematic” for its all-encompassing definition of a “semiautomatic assault rifle.”
“Semiautomatic assault rifle” means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.—Initiative 1639
The Olympia-based We the Governed urges a “No” vote on the initiative because “it has nothing to do with safety (and) everything to do with harming and criminalizing gun owners. Billionaires who won’t be affected funded this mess.”
Until this week, establishment media had virtually ignored the overwhelming law enforcement opposition to I-1639. The public, say initiative opponents, has a right to know where cops stand on this gun control measure. Lined up against I-1639 are the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association (WSPTA), Washington State Sheriff’s Association (WSSA), Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS) and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA).
Their opposition is best summed up by Jeff Merrill, WSPTA president, who stated, “Unenforceable gun control laws are not effective. Individual accountability, stiff penalties for firearms violations and consistent, swift court sentences are far better deterrents than adding additional restrictions to law abiding firearms owners.”